Should I be concerned if owner has not answered any of my questions but one?

asked 2017-09-28 10:18:41 -0500

So this is my first booking and I did not want to reject it. The owner sent me 2 requests both different dates. I responded to the one that I was available for as the other one I was watching a friends dog already and put as unavailable on my calendar. She never responded to me saying I was unavailable to sit for the first request. But she did respond to me accepting the second request. Then last minute she asks if we can change it to the first dates and I told her unfortunately no I can't. Now tomorrow is the day she drops off her dogs and I left her a message asking for care instructions and a list of things she would need to bring (food, collars, leashes tags) and stuff she could bring if she wanted (beds, crates, blankets, toys). But she never responded and only messaged back saying she would be here around noon. I have no care instructions for the pups and they both have extreme anxiety. What should I do? She seems very unresponsive. She's also declined meet and greets. The booking was booked a couple Of weeks ago and I start watching her dogs tomorrow

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answered 2017-09-28 12:25:08 -0500

If you've reached out multiple times and haven't been able to get a response, and especially because you've not been able to get a meet and greet scheduled I would immediately cancel the booking. I would also reach out to Rover support and inform them of the situation, so if she shows up on your doorstep you have them backing you up when you refuse to accept the dogs. My main concern would be that this person likely won't pick up the dogs on time (or ever, hate to say it), or if there's an emergency you won't be able to get a hold of them because they don't really care.

For future reference, don't accept a booking until you've had the meet and greet, you'd be amazed how much crazy can show up during a meet and greet and this way you're not obligated to watch the dogs. If someone is too lazy/busy/doesn't think it's important to schedule a meet and greet I can guarantee you don't want their dogs or business. The meet and greet isn't just a formality, it's essential! It allows you to really see the animals in your home, lets you talk in depth to the owner, get all the details ironed out, and above all lets you see if you shouldn't watch the dogs for any reason.

I know you said this is your first booking, but don't put yourself in a bad situation just because you'd hate to reject it. I've noticed since rover merged with dog vacay I've gotten way more crazier owners, and I've had to reject quite a few. If someone isn't responsive within 24 hours of my first contact I archive them and move on. It doesn't appear to have affected my ratings at all, and I'm still getting requests. At the end of the day, you need to watch out for yourself and your home.

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Thank you so much for your advice! So what happens if someone doesn't pick up their dogs or turns out to be a crazy? Haha do I contact rover support? And would it be considered an emergency?

Brittaney + Angel C.'s profile image Brittaney + Angel C.  ( 2017-09-28 12:50:48 -0500 ) edit

If someone doesn't pick up their dogs I'd definitely contact rover immediately, and depending on the situation I may even consider it an emergency. Basically you pay a percentage of what you earn so that rover is backing you, don't be afraid to use them!

Elizabeth S.'s profile image Elizabeth S.  ( 2017-09-30 13:20:23 -0500 ) edit
answered 2017-10-16 22:59:46 -0500

I read the previous answers and agree with most of the points. I am curious what you ended up doing. Personally I don't think I would ever cancel on a client the day before. I'm not sure of the details of the client that booked you, but I have found that a lot of my older clients don't have smart phones or the rover app so they only see the messages when they check their email on the computer. It is very weird she didn't message back but I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt that they have busy lives and love their pets. Since she denied having a meet and greet I would have a informal mini one in your front yard to get a feel of the situation and the dogs and then you can get the care instructions. Most of the time I get my instructions in person not over the app because people don't want to type everything you need to know about their dog. However if it is a longer stay maybe I would cancel it, this is a tricky situation!

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answered 2017-11-29 17:22:45 -0500

Once you have a little more experience and feel like you know what to watch for at the meet-and-greet and what questions to ask, you may feel comfortable trying phone calls as an alternative to in-person meet-and-greets. But I'd only do this if there really isn't any way to get that person to visit your home ahead of time AND everything seems like a good fit from your messaging. I recently tried this with a client who was coming in from out of state, and it was a really helpful way for me to gauge both her and her dog. She had given me a lot of great info about her pup in her initial message, which is rare, the stay was for just one night, and her dog did sound like a perfect fit, so the call ended up being a good way for me to get more-detailed answers to my specific questions and to see how I felt about working with that owner. For instance, she was able to tell me in detail how her dog does when meeting new pups. Normally I do still require meet-and-greets, but if you do feel comfortable accepting a phone call instead for a particular request, make sure you call the owner through Rover so you don't have to swap private numbers.

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answered 2017-09-28 20:27:07 -0500

Is the the date you said you were not available? Did you accept the booking on Rover and did she pay? If the answer to those two questions is no, you may want to send her a message that her dog does not have a booking with you. Ask her not to come drop off her dogs. If she comes anyway, you can turn her away at the door. Try not to feel bad about it. She should have listened. Rover won't hold it against you since the stay hasn't been booked. A stay booked on the site guarantees you get paid.

If the answer is yes, Rover will likely expect you to honor the agreement unless there is something seriously wrong.

The customer just might bring everything you asked for. I've had owners not acknowledge my requests but drop off their dogs with all I asked them to bring. Most of my customers don't give instructions on the site but have instructions written down. Some have given me a folder of info.

Personally, I require meet and greets with the owner and dog. I am firm in that. Booking requests must be received at least 7 days for stay is to begin in order to allow time for a meet and greet. It's an automatic decline and tell them my meet and greet policy. I'm attempted at times to make an exception but those meet and greets can save you froma world of problems.

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answered 2017-10-17 11:11:22 -0500

I agree to "never" book until you have had a meet & greet...unless you take only one dog at a time and have some experience. Best, as most of us do, to make it a requirement to do meet & greets. I do understand you are excited and anxious to start getting bookings. But, there are some dogs, and yes, owners that may not be a good fit for you. Like the rest of us, you will learn with experience. I wouldn't cancel but contact rover support about the lack of information and communication with the owner. They will reach out to her. Let us know what happens with this customer. Good Luck!

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